Upside Down

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"Upside Down"
Single by Diana Ross
from the album diana
B-side "Friend to Friend"
Released 25 June 1980
Recorded 1979-1980
Length 4:05
Label Motown
Writer(s) Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards
Producer(s) Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards for Chic
Diana Ross singles chronology
"It's My House"
"Upside Down"
"I'm Coming Out"

"Upside Down" is a hit song by Diana Ross released on the Motown label. It was the first single taken from her 1980 album diana and hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 6 September 1980. It also hit number 1 on the Billboard Disco/Dance and R&B charts. The single was released a full 4 weeks after the album was released. In its fifth week on the Billboard Hot 100, it made a dramatic leap into the Top 10 (*49-*10). It held down the number 1 title for 4 weeks.

The single was also a big hit internationally, topping the singles charts in Sweden, Italy, Norway and Switzerland, while reaching number 5 in Canada. It also rose to number 2 on the UK Singles Chart, marking the highest peak performance from Ross as a solo artist since "I'm Still Waiting" in 1971. It also earned her a British Phonographic Industry silver disc award for sales in excess of 250,000 copies.

The song listed at number 62 on Billboard's "Greatest Songs of All Time".[1]


The song was written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers (of the band Chic).

In a 2011 interview, Nile Rodgers said "Diana Ross was the first big star we ever worked with and we took it very seriously." Rodgers and Edwards interviewed her for several days. "This was the first time in her life somebody cared about who she was; what she was - everyone previously had treated her the way we had treated Sister Sledge - they got her in and said 'Sing this'. We (took a more personal approach)."[2]

The song would be later covered and sampled by the likes of Salt-N-Pepa, Kid Rock, Missy Elliott, Alcazar, Puff Daddy, Collette and MC Lyte, who had a hit under the "Upside Down" sample in Lyte's 1996 hit, "Cold Rock a Party (Remix)".[3] The Salt-N-Pepa version was featured on the Space Jam soundtrack.

The song was later covered by Destiny's Child during a tribute show honoring Ross and her career on a VH1 Divas special. Their version is featured on their album Single Remix Tracks.

In 1994, the song was used in Mickey's Fun Songs: Let's Go to the Circus with a different arrangement and lyrics.

In 1997, Ross performed the song live with British band Jamiroquai at "The Brit Awards" ceremony.

Upside Down was also covered and released as a single in late 2001 by Australian R & B girl group X3 (Times Three). It followed the release of their first single, and album, 'Girl Like Me'. The song received healthy airplay and was promoted well in Australia but did not chart well.

In 2001, contemporary jazz/fusion group Pieces of a Dream offered their version from the release "Acquainted With the Night."[4]

In 2004, Alcazar sampled "Upside Down" in their song "This Is the World We Live In".

In 2013, the song was used in a Mercedes-Benz commercial featuring chickens being moved around while their heads remain stationery as an example of the car brand's "magic body control."[5] It was also used by Jaguar Cars in a parody of the Mercedes-Benz commercial.[6]

Charts (1980)[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 3
Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[10] 5
Canada (RPM Adult Contemporary)[11] 1
Denmark (Tracklisten)[12] 1
France (SNEP)[13] 2
Germany (Media Control AG)[14] 3
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 3
Italy (FIMI)[16] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[17] 2
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[18] 3
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[19] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[20] 1
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[21] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[23] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[24] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[25] 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[25] 1
US Billboard Hot R&B Singles[25] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 18

End-of-decade charts[edit]

End of decade (1980–1989) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 30

Track listing[edit]

UK 12"

Side A

  1. "Upside Down" (93' Remix, David Morales & Satoshi Tomiie mix)
  2. "The Best Years of My Life" (Album Version)

Side B

  1. "Upside Down" (Morales Dub, David Morales & Satoshi Tomiie mix)
  2. "Upside Down" (Album Version)
UK 12" #2

Side A

  1. "Upside Down"

Side B

  1. "Upside Down" (Remix by David Morales & Satoshi Tomiie)

Music video[edit]

The music video consists of previously filmed scenes from Ross's other productions over the years cut together with some photographs.[26]


Linguistically the song is notable for its use of the archaic form of the second person singular pronoun, Thou/Thee, in the phrase: "Respectfully I say to thee I'm aware that you're cheatin'."


  1. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (70-61)". Billboard. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Twenty First Century Music". 10 November 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Vibe may 2001. Vibe Media Group. 2001. ISSN 1070-4701. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Paula Edelstein. "Acquainted With the Night review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Stone, Jason (2013-10-02). "Ad break: Mercedes-Benz chickens, Carlsberg Premier League push". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  6. ^ Kurczewski, Nick (2013-12-18). "A fowl rivalry: Feathers are flying between Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz!". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  7. ^ "Australia n°1 hits - 80's". Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Diana Ross – Upside Down –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  9. ^ " – Diana Ross – Upside Down" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 34, No. 4, November 22 1980". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Volume 33, No. 26, September 27 1980". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Danyel Smith, ed. (1980). Billboard 15 november 1980. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Diana Ross"
  14. ^ "Diana Ross - Upside Down". Media Control. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 15 June 2013.  2nd result when searching "Upside down"
  16. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1980". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
    8. Upside down - Diana Ross [#1, 1980/81]
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Diana Ross search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  18. ^ " – Diana Ross – Upside Down" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  19. ^ " – Diana Ross – Upside Down". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  20. ^ " – Diana Ross – Upside Down". VG-lista. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  21. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (R)". John Samson. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  22. ^ " – Diana Ross – Upside Down". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  23. ^ "Diana Ross – Upside Down –". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  24. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  25. ^ a b c "Diana Ross awards at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "Diana Ross – Upside Down". Dailymotion. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Sailing" by Christopher Cross
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
6 September 1980 – 27 September 1980 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen
Preceded by
"Moskau" by Dschinghis Khan
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
29 September 1980 – 20 October 1980
Succeeded by
"More Than I Can Say" by Leo Sayer
Preceded by
"Food for Thought" by UB40
New Zealand Singles Chart
10 October 1980 – 24 October 1980
Succeeded by
"Master Blaster (Jammin)" by Stevie Wonder
Preceded by
"Take Your Time (Do It Right)" by The SOS Band
Hot Dance Club Songs number one single (with "I'm Coming Out")
9 August 1980 – 23 August 1980
Succeeded by
"Fame" by Irene Cara
"Red Light" / "Hot Lunch Jam" by Linda Clifford
Preceded by
"Fame" by Irene Cara
"Red Light" / "Hot Lunch Jam" by Linda Clifford
Hot Dance Club Songs number one single (with "I'm Coming Out")
6 September 1980 – 13 September 1980
Succeeded by
"Love Sensation" by Loleatta Holloway
Preceded by
"One in a Million You" by Larry Graham
Hot R&B Singles number-one single
16 August 1980 – 6 September 1980
Succeeded by
"Give Me the Night" by George Benson